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tv   BBC News  BBC News  June 15, 2017 2:00pm-3:01pm BST

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this is bbc news, i'm ben brown, live at the scene of the tower—block fire in west london. the headlines at two o'clock. the london fire brigade say the death toll here has risen to 17, but their warnings that the number rise considerably, and many people are still missing. firefighters have reached the top floors of the building, but they say there is no hope of finding anyone else alive. my firefighters were desperate to get in there and desperate to rescue people, and we committed crew after crew into a very dangerous, very hot, and very difficult situation. specialist teams are now trying to make the tower safe so they can search for the missing. the faces of some of those still unaccounted for, young and old, many of whom were trapped on the upper floors of the building. jessica, she is still missing, she was on the news,
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and it is horrible for me to hear they are missing or they are dead or they are in hospital or something. how did the fire start, and why did it engulf the entire building injust minutes? questions — but as of yet no answers. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. the prime minister has ordered a
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full public inquiry into what happened here, why the fire spread so happened here, why the fire spread so quickly, and with such deadly consequences. the death toll at the moment is 17, but that is expected to rise. we know, in terms of casualties, that 37 people are still in hospital, 17 of those in critical ca re in hospital, 17 of those in critical care at the moment. the prime minister, theresa may, was here earlier on today neighbours and, and jeremy corbyn, the leader of the labour party, has also been here, he went to a nearby church currently and emergency centre, and he said that the truth must come out. he once and —— he wants answers. i'm joined by deputy assistant commissionerjane philpott of the london fire brigade. i know you are extremely busy at the moment, can you give us the latest on what is going on with your firefighters in the building? yes,
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currently we have got eight fire engines, 60 firefighters and officers and specialist cruise, so we have got urban search and rescue teams in who, ultimately, at the minute, are working to shore up the building to unable it to be safe four week to continue our work. safe for us. if it was not safe, we would not have anybody in there working, oui’ not have anybody in there working, oururban teams, not have anybody in there working, our urban teams, they will enable us to go in by shoring up anything we need to make it safer for other ci’ews. need to make it safer for other crews. and you have got specially trained dogs? yes, the metropolitan police service have brought in some dogs, who can move faster than we are, and they can cover a larger area, really, and they will be looking primarily to find any victims. so you are still looking
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for people who are missing, but you are not expecting to find any more survivors, is that right? we are not expecting. that is not to say as $0011 expecting. that is not to say as 50011 as we expecting. that is not to say as soon as we can get in, that we will a lwa ys soon as we can get in, that we will always continue to look for some drivers, but we would expect that we will find a number of further casualties. a 24 storey building, extremely high, of course, are you able to reach the very top of the building and operate there? yeah, we have been up to the top of the building, that has taken place. but asi building, that has taken place. but as i say, the work that is going on now, it is much more painstaking, it works at a slower pace, it is about the safety of the crews, to enable us the safety of the crews, to enable us to really get into the building and search every corner of the building. we have heard the death toll is currently 17, but it is your understanding that will rise? currently, it is 17, and as we say,
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oui’ currently, it is 17, and as we say, our expectation is that it would rise, you would really need to revert to the police for other numbers. tell us about your firefighters, on the scene very quickly, injust a firefighters, on the scene very quickly, in just a few minutes, but we have heard from the commission and just how brave they were, going in there, up those stairs at a time when the whole building was ablaze. the building was ablaze, i am extremely proud of the firefighters, absolutely. the conditions were incredible, absolutely unprecedented. you know, we have not worked with a tower block on fire in this country in that way, so yes, today they are tired, but the one thing i can say is they are absolutely determined to get into the building and, you know, look and find people's loved ones.|j the building and, you know, look and find people's loved ones. i know the commissioner of the fire brigade was saying there is a chance that some of your firefighters are going to be quite traumatised by what they went
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through, by what they witnessed, what they experienced.” through, by what they witnessed, what they experienced. i think, you know, the main thing is that we have a lot of training. we train hard with our firefighters, but it was such a different, such a different incident, so extremely hard that the effo rts incident, so extremely hard that the efforts they have put in, some of the sites they have seen, through what we expected, yes, some of them may be, but we have already taken steps, we have counselling and well—being, some of them received it on that night. it is worth mentioning our control operators, who worked extremely hard and were taking numerous calls, fire safety goals, and we are aiming to look after them, and we have a council of well—being, and we are using it. give us an idea of what it is like being a firefighter, going into a fire like that — obviously, you have equipment and training, but even so, going up that staircase, what is it like in the middle of an incredible
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fire like this one? dark, smoky, extremely hard, as you say, we really do train, you know, that is what we do. but yeah, it is scary, it would be wrong to say otherwise. you are going into an area that you cannot always see, but i cannot emphasise enough that we do lots of training, but ultimately, yes, if you cannot see in front of you, you are running on adrenaline. all the training in the world, it might not prepare you for a 24 storey tower block that is effectively under inferno. what our training did was kick in for the firefighters, because we have done it over such a long time. it was unprecedented, and we worked extremely hard, and so we are prepared, our training does do that, but it was very difficult. we know that you rescued 65 people, incredible given those appalling
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conditions that you are in. yes, 65 people were led to safety, absolutely, you know, that really was a good effort, and something that we would want from our firefighters. they were really keen to get in, help people, get in as far as they can, and gets people out, lead them out to safety. and you have firefighters from all over london, tell us where they came from. certainly, firefighters from the whole of london, we have got surrey fire and rescue assisting us, we note that kent fire brigade assistant us with a drone yesterday. 0ur crews, certainly the local ones, kingston in the south, barking and dagenham, yes, truly everywhere. and the men and women who work with your service on the night, they must be utterly exhausted. they are exhausted, they have come back to work, as i said, they are keen, you
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know, they are keen to get back to work. for them, they want to be able to finish thisjob, work. for them, they want to be able to finish this job, quite rightly, but no disputing that they worked hard. and you have had a few minor injuries of firefighters, because there was a lot of debris falling. there was a lot of debris, yeah, a couple of minor injuries, but on the night, yes, it was raining with debris. but no, ourfirefighters are all0k, thank you. debris. but no, ourfirefighters are all 0k, thank you. how long do you expect to be here as the fire brigade working here? it is difficult to say, potentially we may be here for weeks. certainly, the urban search and rescue, shoring up the building, as i say, that is a slow process. as we move through, we may come to other hotspots which would flare up, so we are required to deal with that. we cannot say at the minute, but a while. we saw claims earlier today, flaring up, we'll keep happening, do you think?
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—— claims we'll keep happening, do you think? -- claims potentially, certainly for a good few days, yeah. thank you very much for being with us and answering our questions, the deputy assista nt answering our questions, the deputy assistant commissioner, jane philpott, of the london fire brigade, talking to me a little bit earlier on. the prime minister has announced there will be a full inquiry into what happened here, the disaster at this tower block, let's get a report on that and the rest of the day's developments from richard lister. the smoke—blackened ruin was still smouldering this morning. it took more than 24 hours to get the blaze under control. small pockets were alight in areas that were too dangerous to reach. there were bodies too, nobody knows how many. finding them is a challenge. this will be a very slow and painstaking process. this is a large building. there will be a large amount of building work required internally, structures will need to be built to ensure the floors are safe. before we do that, we are going
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to utilise some specialist dog training teams that we have, in conjunction with the metropolitan police, that will go through the building and surrounding area looking for identification of people. the search could take weeks, and police say the number of dead is expected to rise — but how much is not clear. 0ur absolute priority for all of us is about identifying and locating those people who are still missing, and it would be wrong of me to give a number that is not accurate. one person has been reported 46 times that they believe to be missing. but how did this happen? the cause of the fire still has not been formally identified. understanding why it spread so fast could take weeks, months, and for local people who saw the disaster unfold, grief is turning to anger. if you had seen that building go up, like i saw it from my back window, you would have no doubt
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it was not fit for purpose. someone made a catastrophic error. we are grieving, but there is public anger underneath, and we want to see someone held accountable. i feel angry that i saw people dying in front of my eyes. i saw kids and women, and kids this age hanging from windows with teddies. that angered me, and nobody could help them. that really angered me. this wall has become a collection of a community confused and upset. some have left messages for loved ones, and others are thanking the emergency services. the queen said her thoughts and prayers are with the families who have lost loved ones in the grenfell tower fire. the prime minister went to see
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the site for herself this morning. she praised the work of emergency teams and the response from the local community. after returning to downing street, she said the government would take action. right now, people want and says, and it is absolutely right, and i am today ordering a full public inquiry into this disaster. we need to know what happened, we need to have an explanation of this. we owe that to the families, the people who have lost loved ones, friends and the homes in which they lived. the area around the tower is littered with these burnt remnants of the building's cladding. survivors will want to know why it was so flammable and why their concerns were not taken more seriously. it was obvious at the time, when i worked here in 2015, that the tenants were very aware of multiple problems
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with the building including potential fire—safety problems, and i worked with that community — the tenant management just didn't listen to them. the contractor did not listen to the tenants' concerns. as fires continued in parts of the building today, those responsible for grenfell tower insisted it complied with all the relevant building codes and regulations, but it stands as a monument to a fire—protection policy that clearly failed in the most devastating way. richard lister, bbc news. you may have seen some of the newspaper front pages today with a picture of the inferno that engulfed g re nfell tower picture of the inferno that engulfed grenfell tower just before picture of the inferno that engulfed grenfell towerjust before one o'clock this morning, yesterday morning, was when the fire started, and it really took hold in the next hour or so after that. a photographer from the london hour or so after that. a
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photographerfrom the london evening standard took the picture that is on many of the newspaper front pages today, and court yesterday's and and, you were here quickly afterwards. —— and of course on yesterday's standard. you have covered war zones, but this must have been very difficult. it is not what you want to do, when i arrived at three o'clock in the morning, the building was well allied, and i heard terrible things, but i have never seen anybody act as brilliantly as the london fire brigade. i could not do it for any money in the world. but i took some distance to take the picture from a block of flats, that has now been published everywhere, it was on the front page of the standard, and todayit front page of the standard, and today it seems to have been published all around the world. it is not a picture you want to take. as you were saying, you heard
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screams, the glenside, and you saw some terrible things. yes, yes. i just felt helpless, i cannot say anymore, it felt like a war zone, but helplessness was the main thing. you want to help, but the training ta kes you want to help, but the training takes over, and you have to report what is going on in front of you. i was of no use to anybody, the fire brigade were fantastic, hats off to them. yes, i heard some dreadful things, it stuck with me all night, back here today, seeing it, smouldering away still, ijust hope that the death count stays low, that is what we were all hoping, the lower, the better. when you saw the flames, they engulfed the whole building incredibly quickly, really, once they had taken hold. just went up once they had taken hold. just went up so quickly in front of my eyes, i couldn't believe it. i started taking pictures of the building
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about a third engulfed in flames, but within ten minutes it was just totally engulfed, it went up like tissue, i couldn't believe it, in fa ct. tissue, i couldn't believe it, in fact. from taking what was an amazing picture, to then see every floor engulfed, it was ridiculous, actually, just awful. when you first got the call to come here, you knew it was a fire, but nothing on the scale it turned into. we knew it was a bad fire, to be honest with you, i got a call from the picture editor, he said there was a major fire in west london, he got me out of bed for that, which is fair enough. but never did we think it was anything like this, never, neverat never did we think it was anything like this, never, never at all. everything since then, the news has just been full of it, hasn't it? all right, jeremy, thank you for talking to us, jeremy selwyn, a photographer for the london evening standard. if you have got a newspaper with a front—page picture of the disaster
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that unfolded, it is probably his, it has been reproduced in newspapers all around britain, and all around the world, in fact. that is the latest from here with the death toll currently at 17, but police warning that it currently at 17, but police warning thatitis currently at 17, but police warning that it is very likely to rise further. i will hand you back to the studio, and simon. the prime minister has announced there will be a public inquiry, we can go to norman smith, who is in westminster for us. do we can go to norman smith, who is in westminsterfor us. do we know can go to norman smith, who is in westminster for us. do we know what sort of form this inquiry will take, and how long it will take? well, i suspect the honest answer is it will potentially take years, because public inquiries to take that and out of time. the plus side is that they do tend to go into extraordinary detail and get to the fa cts , extraordinary detail and get to the facts, and that will be the hope for this public inquiry, that once and finally we get some clarity about what sort of procedures need to be in place in these tower blocks, what sort of regulations, what sort of
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building structures, and that they are then implemented. if it follows the course of a normal inquiry, there may be a judge heading it, certainly a senior independent figure, independent of the government — witnesses will give evidence in public, they will include, i assume, evidence in public, they will include, iassume, the evidence in public, they will include, i assume, the local authority, the people who built the tower block, the developers who put up tower block, the developers who put up the cladding, and i would imagine the tenants themselves, and probably relatives who have lost family, friends in the tragedy. so it will be fairly charged, i imagine, quite difficult for many people. but the possibility is that you actually find out not only what happened, but you come up with a template which ensures that this sort of thing can't happen again, and it does, of course, also leave open the option of potential criminal charges — if there is any question of manslaughter or negligence, that
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then becomes open, and there will also, i imagine, be a discussion as to whether it was a full—blown judicial inquiry, whether evidence is taken under oath. now, all of thatis is taken under oath. now, all of that is still to be firmed out, but that is still to be firmed out, but thatis that is still to be firmed out, but that is the nature of the inquiry we are now looking at, not some short—term inquiry which is likely to report within a year. this is a much more fundamental reassessment of safety in our housing stock. and, norman, quite bizarrely, not froth from where you are, mps are discussing a matter of national importance, and we are hearing it second hand. it is, i can only say, extraordinary. my honest instinct is that it extraordinary. my honest instinct is thatitis extraordinary. my honest instinct is that it is more clock up and confusion than any conspiracy to keep the cameras out that statement being givenjust over keep the cameras out that statement being given just over there keep the cameras out that statement being givenjust over there in keep the cameras out that statement being given just over there in the grand committee room. reporters are in there, it is just that cameras are not in there, and this is a moment when, for the first time a
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minister, the government, will be pressed for details about some of the facts we know or rather we do not know. just looking at some of the tweets from colleagues, david lammy, the tottenham mp, has already suggested that fire doors were removed. no, actually, ithink we can probably see inside the committee room, we do know seem to have access. i am glad we can get that, let's just dip have access. i am glad we can get that, let'sjust dip in, to hear what they are saying. one cannot begin to imagine what many of these families are going through. um... in terms of a number of issues that we re terms of a number of issues that were raised, could ijust take a few in turn? the first was in relation to housing, and clearly we need to make sure that we give the reassurance and get the support to those who are affected by this terrible tragedy. i can tell colleagues that the department is
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working very closely of liaising with the local authority, the local authority is also getting support from other london authorities, and clearly the intention is to make sure that everyone who is affected is able to be moved into temporary accommodation. i absolutely accept that we need to make sure that families are moved into an area that is appropriate, so we are not talking a long way away, and clearly there will be some families who will have children, and we need to make sure houses are appropriate in terms of their schools. the prime minister, of course, has also been today to visit the site, and nick has talked about the fact that there will be a public inquiry, which we all welcome, but she has also made clear, in terms of support available, that the government remains ready to provide all the support necessary to the local
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authority and emergency services. let me just give you this assurance —we let me just give you this assurance — we will support every family that is affected. we will be doing that. um... the leaderof is affected. we will be doing that. um... the leader of the opposition talked about the concerns of tenants, and we are hearing the same thing too, and of course colleagues are right that there will be people across very many local authorities who will be wondering about their own accommodation, so i can also tell colleagues that in the department we have already started talking to local authorities and housing associations of how we can get help in getting checks done quickly on the buildings, so that work is under way, and we will set out more details about that later on today. in terms of the specific point that was raised about the review of building regulations, if i
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canjust sort review of building regulations, if i can just sort of set out a little bit of the bagram, if that may be helpful for colleagues, following the fire in 2009, there has been a numberof the fire in 2009, there has been a number of actions taken, so the department did right to social landlords, a leading them to specific problems associated with the lakmal has situation in 2009. the department also published new fire safety guidance in 2011. —— the lakanal house situation in 2009. at the time, the then secretary of state did right to the coroner and say that these would be reviewed as pa rt of say that these would be reviewed as part of a wider review of other approved documents, and of course this was due to happen in 2016—17. we are almost ready for that consultation, but in the light of what has happened, we are obviously going to have to reflect on what
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that consultation needs to contain. yeah, ijust that consultation needs to contain. yeah, i just want that consultation needs to contain. yeah, ijust want to say that we do recognise that we need to be taking action, that there is going to be a public inquiry, and were going to do everything we can within the departments to assist individuals and also get the answers that everybody wants. , just add something to address a point that the leader of the opposition made which is about the question of housing and housing close to where people live, and i have spoken about this to the leader of the council last night, and i think colleagues who are london mps, in particular, the challenge is not necessarily the short—term challenge — it is about a more permanent solution for residents, given the pressures that, as london mps we all know, and the leader of the councils have liked that as a concern, and if i can reassure the leader of the
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opposition and mps that we are very aware of that, that challenge, it is aware of that, that challenge, it is a priority to do everything that we can as central government to support the local authority as they, you know, do their work in terms of assessing demand and the supply that they have got in the area. you are shaking your head, feel free to... without wishing to tread on other people's doze, i understand that it is not possible to say today exactly how those statutory functions are going to be fulfilled. what i was hoping for from the minister, perhaps this could be taken away, is that it should be possible to go today to the g7, the housing associations in london, to go to private providers and commit as a government that you are going to ensure that supply is provided and that every family and household that was affected in this block will be guaranteed such accommodation. how it is going to be done can be done later. the fact that they need today
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to know that promises being made by the government and underwritten by the government and underwritten by the government and underwritten by the government would help reduce a lot of the fear and anxiety and righteous anger that is building up. that point is well made, and i will certainly be taking that to the cross government meeting that i will chair this afternoon, where the question we ask ourselves is, what do people need and what can we do urgently do people need and what can we do urge ntly to do people need and what can we do urgently to support them? that point was very well made. thank you, first of all, the stories that have come out on tv have been harrowing, distressing, ithink, given that we have had conflicting advice about how this meeting will be reported, ithink advice about how this meeting will be reported, i think as a courtesy we ought to hear from the member in that constituency, so that the public can see the transparency of this session. i would urge caution on this, because for me it feels as
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though it runs deeper thanjust this one issue in isolation. the building materials that were used on the building would have been used on thousands of other buildings, and builders with different tenures. we have got deep concerns, and it has been raised time and again about the numberof been raised time and again about the number of offers to residential conversions that have taken place, high—density buildings where similar materials would have been used, so it would not be enough in my view, and clearly we need to make sure the scope of the review is such that it encompasses the real risk of this potentially happening again as well, and soi potentially happening again as well, and so i would ask for a wider review, first of all, of why it has taken so long. i don't accept, i don't think the evidence supports this, that the review was ongoing and just taking time to come through. my strong view is that it was ignored and kicked into the long grass because it was a different ta ke grass because it was a different take on that between government and
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myself on that, but please do make sure that that review properly takes into account the risk of this happening again, regardless of the tenure within the premises we are talking about. so ijust say in terms of this review, i hope i have set out the timeline of the process itself. i mean, there is a lot of preparatory work that has been ongoing, which has been completed. just in terms of the coroner's recommendations, it was in elation to sit occasion of the regulations, rather than changes to them. —— it was in relation to simplification. vicky ford, chelmsford, terrible tragedy and we must do everything to help. it's a slightly different point, there will be many people who work in tall buildings, i have worked on the 50 plus floor of a tall building and they, too, will be
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fearful so can be make sure what ever lessons we learn about how to make tall buildings for housing safe, are also applied to buildings where people work? hornchurch and westminster, june, prior to my election i was a councillor in tower hamlets and writing a book about london in the naughties and as part of that book i have been talking to a member of the canary wharf panel, who talked about how tall building construction changed after 911 because the world trade center was made out of steel and the building melted, and we talked about the fact that now, in relation to vicky's point, a lot of commercial buildings in the vacuum a if there was a fire so the core of the building, you can actually put all of your staff into the core of the building so everybody is safe and you can be in
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there for quite some time and they wonder whether a similar review could take place for a lot of tall residential buildings constructed to see whether you could evacuate people and remove them in that sense from the buildings? thank you very much. thank you, can i express my deep condolences and sadness. the only point i would like to make is the enquiry should be under the 2005 act which requires people to give evidence on oath and can compel witnesses to come. there are various types of enquiries and my own experience of stafford hospital enquiry which was held under that it'd must be the right form of enquiry and it will have to come, you have to give evidence on oath. thank you. first of all, i would like to echo the voices who have
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expressed solidarity with the people who have lost loved ones and now find themselves homeless. i speak not so much as a member for braintree but the former chairman of the london fire and emergency planning authority and the former chairman of the london resilience forum. i would ask, it was brought up forum. i would ask, it was brought up by forum. i would ask, it was brought up by the right honourable member for peckham, i would encourage whatever lessons learned, whether that be through the public enquiry which has been announced through a coroner ‘s report, and anything else which might happen, if those can be expedia could quickly because i spoke to a lot of firefighters involved in the fire and they said they felt very uncomfortable with they felt very uncomfortable with the significant period of time elapsed from the incident to the point at which they were being asked to formally and often under oath relay what their experiences were. particularly because of how traumatic the events are, memory is
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a strange thing and they would feel much more comfortable if they were able to impart their experiences properly after the event rather than have many years elapse between the two events. also am reflecting the conversations had with firefighters, can we please make sure that we give enhanced support to the firefighters involved in this incident. i've spoken to a lot of them, i know a lot personally who have been in the profession for many decades, this will, without a shadow of a doubt, be the most significant and harrowing event any of them will of had to deal with and we need them to be resilient and robust to work through this process and i would say an enhanced support package for the emergency services personnel involved in this is an absolute priority, in addition to the support
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packages put in place for those residents. can i finally request that, despite our desire to put the spoke solutions in place, the london resilience forum has a collectively agreed multi—agency agreed document on mass fatalities and mass rehousing, because i signed them off asa rehousing, because i signed them off as a resilience forum so i know this, and before we can read the spoke packages, can we attempt to deploy the cross agency agreed plans that are already in place and signed off false if they then need to be adapted and enhanced, let's do that, but let's not create the spoke solutions be for at least trying to implement the existing plans but been signed off thank you. thank you very much. i want to acknowledge all
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that has been said in terms of the issues of been raised and the overwhelming kind of love and sentiment that we sent to all of those who've been affected. i also wa nt those who've been affected. i also want tojust those who've been affected. i also want to just make those who've been affected. i also want tojust make a comment about the way the community has come together. i know from hounslow and surrounding areas, the way places of worship have aligned with other places of worship has been at amend as part of the story. i do hope there will be a way in which we can also help coordinate some of the support activity, not least because the overwhelming desire to help can sometimes become a hindrance unless it's coordinated. the help from central government supporting a local authority who will already be understrain is local authority who will already be under strain is going to be incredibly important for those in my constituency who are asking how can we have those effort effectively and
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efficiently directed ? we have those effort effectively and efficiently directed? i want to raise the issue of capacity in west london coroner 's services, not least because it's been a huge issue for us as west london mps for our constituency casework and the level of strain and stress that is going to be for those services now has got to be for those services now has got to be for those services now has got to be matched with extra resources andl to be matched with extra resources and i believe that commitment should be made as a matter of urgency. there are going to be notjust the sensitivity but the process for, as loved ones are identified, for the process to be gone through so people can then be able to have funerals and have the support that they need as their loved ones come together to mourn, so whatever assurances can be given, ithink mourn, so whatever assurances can be given, i think it's a matter of urgency as well. thank you. thank
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you. it's an almost unimaginable horror and it continues to unravel today. you would have to be inhuman not to share the anger reflected by the most people, including david lammy. there's a need for a full public enquiry the nature of it should relate to the 2005 act, it is spot—on. i've had a lot of e—mails today from people not in my constituency but london residence who are desperately anxious about the circumstances in which they are living at the moment, people living in similar types of accommodation, people who urgency want reassurances from government, from local authorities, from whoever is able to provide reassurance so mike leigh is local authorities are charged with that responsibility as a matter of
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urgency. as an emergency. where resources are needed, to provide those reassurances, they should be provided, and i think in this context, we are talking about days, not weeks, and certainly not months. thank you. i want to echo the thoughts of everyone in the room. our thoughts are with the families of those survived this unspeakable event. the minister talked about the heroism of the firefighters. they would say they are doing theirjob and they look to us now to do ours. we must secure justice for those who died, and we must secure security and dignity for those who've survived and what they want is the certainty of knowing a date when they will have a roof over their heads, date when they can get their children back to school and when they will have access to cash so they will have access to cash so they are not relying on the kindness of strangers however well—intentioned and loving that
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kindness may be. when we talk about this as a tragedy, we talk about it like an act of god but it wasn't some natural disaster. this is a man—made disaster. and we look to you both as ministers to leave no stone unturned in getting justice and getting to the bottom of this. the minister talked about looking to fire authorities to make sure they we re fire authorities to make sure they were doing the inspections, but they are working to the rules that he set and if those rules are lacking or have any gaps in them, you must not allow the one in, one out regulatory rule to stop him from setting any new regulation that is required. i wa nt to new regulation that is required. i want to ask the minister about the bell in the scheme. what hard cash is he giving today to kensington and chelsea and the surrounding authorities when we have a flood? we have ministers coming of the house of commons telling us the amounts,
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activating the scheme. this is no less a disaster than a flood. this is incalculable in the impact of those people who survived unimaginable trauma. the local authority deserves to know how much in pounds, shillings and pence they can receive from the government in order to underwrite the costs of rehousing hundreds of homeless families, dealing with dozens, scores of traumatised friends, relations and giving dignity and justice to the victims and their families? the horror and the terror of what we saw on our television screens yesterday, we will never forget that. we can't imagine what they went through. i want to echo they went through. i want to echo the question asked byjohn healey and zac goldsmith, it is really important there is at a clarity today about whether people should
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stay in their flats in the event of another horrific fire which could happen this afternoon as we speak here, or whether they should leave? and those who have to give them that advice, need to be assured about giving the best advice for that i've beenin giving the best advice for that i've been in contact today with a chief executive of my housing association and he is very clear first of all he needs to know he's giving the best advice and he will need to draw on the experts to ensure that, and secondly, if the best advice is to stay, it would be very difficult to persuade frightened people to do that. ministers need to think really ha rd that. ministers need to think really hard about how they can reaffirm assurances that that will be people's best options. that needs to be out there tonight. everything we know about fire deaths and this kind of atrocity is that it's the poorest people in the poorest properties who are the most vulnerable to fire death, so when the public enquiry explores is notjust the causes but
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solutions, will it be possible for us to think about how that includes notjust the us to think about how that includes not just the social sector, us to think about how that includes notjust the social sector, but some of the disastrous properties in the private rental sector and we have a uppity auditing process which will ensure the poorest people get the first and best protection? you said earlier on that you expect housing providers to make sure that they have the right safety provisions and advice. i expected that before anyway. so i think we need to go a bit further than just expectation here. in my constituency, we have had three fires in high—rise blocks in the last two years which have led toa number of in the last two years which have led to a number of deaths, but thankfully, not spread to the level this one did. we have clad our
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blocks recently and i've had my inbox inundated with very, very concerned residents and particularly disabled residents who are on top floors, who are fearful of their lives. they cannot sleep well at night. so we need to do more than just expect falls i would like to see actually the fire brigade really involved in providing this advice because i think the reality is that residents now lack of trust from housing providers and lack of trust from contractors and unfortunately even from local authority advice. i would like to soothe a minister putting resources into the fire service to make sure they have the resources to do full inspections of all of our blocks across this country within the next week. i think that is the commitment, having a fire service doing those inspections, no one else, and that's what we need to do so residents can sleep easy at night. and i hope you
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will be able to make that happen, thank you. i don't want to minister to lose the point we do need to understand jurisdiction. members have spoken about the enquiry and the 2005 act. i have mentioned the 2007 homicide, sorry, corporate manslaughter act, and there will also be inquests, so it's very important that any enquiry is not prejudicing a health and safety executive enquiry that might lead to criminal action, a police investigation that might lead to criminal action and of course the actions of coroners that take place. will not encompass the general enquiry? we learn from the much unless, that can go on for absolutely years and must not happen in this circumstance. it is very important the enquiry does not prejudice any other investigations
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and we understand entirely the umbrella of the activity that's going to take place in relation to this crime. can i press the minister on something asked by colleagues about the question of legal representation for the residents in the coming public enquiry? in the fire death, there was a blockjust like that, mari cury house, and they had to see the body is actually being brought out of the house and they were not allowed legal aid for they were not allowed legal aid for the coroners inquest. the fire service had legal aid, the ambulance had legal aid, everybody had it except the residents who were defined as not properly interested parties. i would defined as not properly interested parties. iwould hope, can the minister today say he willjust uses authority as a minister to say that those people who suffered and have got such an interest in being part of having their voice heard, they
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will get legal representation. they won't have to sit in the public enquiry while everybody else, at public expense, gets to speak and they are silent? will the minister clarify whether the tenant management organisation and other sorts of housing management will remain in the enquiry because it's a question which came up in the blogs of residents that they were unhappy and they felt they had no independent person to go to, and ombudsman or whatever. if you look at the last few years, there has beena at the last few years, there has been a lessening of regulation around non—council housing managed different sorts of management within housing, public housing sphere. did you want to say something about...” know a number of colleagues have
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raised a number of terms around the enquiry is held and i can confirm this will be under the enquiries act, so colleagues can have that reassurance. one other point was with regard to reassurance to those who are in buildings, high—rise buildings, absolutely understand that they are looking for reassurance. that is precisely why the department is working as quickly as possible in terms of talking to local authorities, housing associations, helping to get these checks done as quickly as possible and we will set out a motion today exactly how this process is to take place. i think we are coming towards the end of this. can ijust ask that all the questions put to you today are also serious, very important and that enquiry needs to once all of
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them about in the meantime, all the urgent actions you've been asked to ta ke urgent actions you've been asked to take today which i fully support by all colleagues from either party in the house, needs to be responded to very quickly. can have an assured there will be a written statement immediately from your department about how you are dealing with those questions and that, when the state opening is taking place next week, it will be as early as possible, a full statement from the secretary of state on this whole process so that all members of the house can ask questions in the proper manner because it's simply not satisfactory they should meet in westminster hall where only half of it is recorded on camera, i'm not blaming you for that, but it seems to be the case, when members clearly have very important issues to answer. there's a lot of public out there, who are very unhappy and a very uneasy today and tonight. they need answers, they need reassurance , and tonight. they need answers, they need reassurance, and, above all, they need the support know that those who have suffered in this fire have got somewhere to go tonight and every other night that is local and
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safe, secure and, above all, they can permanently stay in the community that they love. any other collea g u es community that they love. any other colleagues want to make a contribution? no. 0k, let me try and draw this together and try to give some reassurances as far as i can. first, can i thank the leader of the house and the parliamentary officials and authorities for facilitating this is to mock it was extremely important mps had an opportunity to debate and discuss this national tragedy. as i said at the top, we must consider it a national tragedy and that is reflected in the diversity of mps representing all parts of the uk, speaking on behalf of constituencies and reflecting the concerns and
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anxiety out there. that is right and proper and i hope you found it a useful event so far. i thank you for your contribution to it. the discussion we have had did exactly asi discussion we have had did exactly as i expected. it reflected what john healey and others quite rightly talked about, the deep profound shock we all feel, notjust in this house but across the country, about what has happened, which is playing out across our tv screens. as jeremy and andy said, if you've stood at the bottom of that building looked up, nothing you have seen on the tv can prepare you for what you feel looking up at that devastation. and the sense that you feel of the terror that must‘ve been felt during that night. quite extraordinary protocol, bravery of firefighters
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who went in there. that shock and sadness has been very well articulated today force of david and jeremy and others have also articulated some of the anger that is out there which is quite understandable. and to which government needs to listen. i think this debate has been very important in that respect as well. in very different ways, from different parties and parts of the country, we appreciate our deep respect and gratitude for the emergency service, not just the firefighters working in the most arduous circumstances you can possibly imagine, but also police officers, medics, many of whom, first—time responders, where at london bridge, called again to rush towards the danger, they don't like is banging on about how great they are, but they are heroes and it's important we put that on
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record. i would say perhaps three things. harriet harman expressed very powerfully the sense of solidarity that we all feel. for those who have lost everything and whose lives have been so devastated. by whose lives have been so devastated. by what happened on that fatal night. it is incumbent upon us all as mps for parliament to work effectively to hold government, whatever ministers are responsible, to account on this, because this is not about monday, tuesday, wednesday next week. this is a long—term journey of rebuilding lives for people whose lives have been devastated and a responsibility not just of local mps, but of us all to hold ourselves to account but as events continue to unfold, we know how this place works, but solidarity does not diminish and that is something i will take into the meetings i am chairing to bring government together. for the moment,
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iam the government together. for the moment, i am the ministerfor government together. for the moment, i am the minister for police and we are in emergency response mode at the moment. the prime ministers order was appropriate for me to chair the meeting. the meeting we had yesterday, we pushed ourselves ha rd to had yesterday, we pushed ourselves hard to make sure we had a system of our best. the view i expressed to my officials, we have to act and think as if it was our friends, our officials, we have to act and think as if it was ourfriends, ourfamily in that building. we have to have that emotional connection. there is no room for cool, detached, plodding bureaucracy at this moment in time and that reassurance, as long as i'm cheering that meeting, that is the attitude we will take. we were very clear yesterday, the fact there's so many mps hear from clear yesterday, the fact there's so many mps hearfrom non—london constituencies, reflect the fact we
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understand there are lots of people living in high—rise buildings out there who will be feeling very upset, and it's not enough for the minister to start statistics about how we are much safer from fire than we we re how we are much safer from fire than we were ten yea rs how we are much safer from fire than we were ten years ago. there's no room from that sort of complacency. i understand why people need reassurances. that's why we announced what we did, the commitment to review buildings that are ofa commitment to review buildings that are of a similar stage of refurbishment because we need to understand the need for reassurance. the process by each constituency round the country, both the fire brigade and the local authorities, and those in the system of accountability are doing theirjob in asking themselves tough questions about our weekly errors about the advice we are receiving that it's appropriate and our communication to
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which we are responsible? that is our responsibility to give ourselves tough questions about that. talking about the housing challenge, a very real one, that will be on the agenda this afternoon and i hope following that meeting, we will be in a position to make a clearer insurance —— insurance to others. —— as yoram ‘s. some of us who have been experienced, know that we are dealing with an extremely compensated situation, complex, which requires a bit of time to get this right, does require a proper process that people have their say, no stone unturned and no one has got bases to hide and i think the prime
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minister has made it very clear that there are intentions to leave no stone unturned equals we completely understand the shock and concern and anger and frustration and fear that is out there and it's the duty of the government to run a process that reflects that. within that, we have to ask ourselves what needs to be prioritised. i may be the minister for fire, but i am not an expert on fire force there are experts on fire in this room. what is clear to me and jeremy and everybody who has spoken, this was a very unusual fire we have to understand. this should not happen. in britain. we have to understand that this appears to have been an unusual fire understand that this appears to have been an unusualfire in its understand that this appears to have been an unusual fire in its speed and in its direction and movement
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and in its direction and movement and behaviour. we have to understand what happened and what caused it and we do not know. yes, there are plenty of people speculating, our tv screens are full of experts expressing their views, some informed, some less informed, and the duty government is to proceed on behalf of the people on a basis of strong evidence and fact. i am clever some things we need to prioritise in terms of what we do to get information about what happened here ——i get information about what happened here —— i am clear on some things. at the same time, we have to do everything we can to walk alongside people whose lives have been devastated. all i can say is, from my perspective, sitting in a check i am satisfied the government is pulling together because we are
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aware of harriet‘s point of supporting people on the front line. i fully expect this new parliament will hold us to account and it is right and proper, but the enquiry is the right way to go but within that, we are clear we need to move as quickly as possible to get some of those priority answers to questions people need, and we leave no stone unturned in this process. and we need to be fully accountable for that and i would give that reassurance to jeremy corbyn's last point about parliamentary procedure. i will take guidance from the leader of the house. studio: we've been watching a special meeting at westminster to discuss the fire at grenfell tower. we have been listening to the fire minister nick hurd. he told mps the
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fire was a national tragedy. the moment demands that there should be, how can and should be total supporting those people. people need reassurance about buildings, to know they are safe in their buildings, so therefore that was the action we committed to yesterday and we are just working through with the department to find the resource requirements, but we are in no doubt about the need to do it. as i said yesterday, resources are not the issue. what is the issue is the need to hold together behind the process thatis to hold together behind the process that is going to give us the answers to the many tough questions, quite rightly, the people are asking us. our responsibility is as a parliament, the process we are about to deliver, delivers on that and
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does not lead people frustrated. rosie. would it be possible for you to send us the advice and requests that are being made of local authorities, in terms of what they are asking local authorities to do so that we know that as well? thank you for making that as well? thank you for making that point because i should have said we have a role in our own constituencies to work alongside and sometimes challenge those who within the system of accountability we have got to make sure they are doing the job they have. they need to feedback to us some of the questions and anxieties and operational problems they may have. obviously there are governed that systems to do that, but we know from our own experiences that we can

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